Homestay with a contact of journey

Homestay with a touch of adventure

KUCHING, Sarawak, 1 February 2023: I’m not an outside form of individual. Trekking? Climbing? Rafting of all types? These phrases are non-existent in my vocabulary.

In some way life can hand you essentially the most sudden of alternatives, reminiscent of a piece journey that landed me on the essential gateway to Kampung Peraya, Padawan, after a couple of 30-minute drive from Kuching Metropolis.

The principle gateway to Kampung Peraya (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

Located 13km from the town, Kampung Peraya is house to villagers of the Bidayuh ethnicity, often known as Land Dayaks, that make-up virtually 10% of Sarawak’s inhabitants. The Bidayuhs are the second greatest ethnic group in Sarawak after the Ibans.

Upon arrival on the Peraya Homestay at midday, its proprietor and our information Valentine Ritong welcomed us warmly and proceeded to usher us to our ‘house’ for the night time.

Okay, right here comes the difficult half.  To get to the homestay, you should cross the Sirin River on a bamboo bridge.  With each cautious but conscious step, we crossed it to succeed in Valentine’s 10-room longhouse. 

The bamboo bridge to get to Peraya Homestay (Photograph: Rossalynn Ismail)

The longhouse, surrounded by luscious greenery, lets its guests have a glimpse of how the Bidayuhs of the previous lived their lives – going up the steps carved out of ‘kayu belian’ or ironwood (a uncommon timber native to Borneo) after a tiring day manning their crops and chilling on the open-spaced veranda while having fun with nature.

The genuine Bidayuh longhouse, our ‘house’ amidst the greenery (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

The round rattan craftsmanship on the longhouse ceiling is considerably like a visible metaphor for the Bidayuh tenacity in going about on a regular basis life. From an inside design perspective, the round shapes of the rattan assist create stability and concord with the contrasting geometric traces of the longhouse. What’s much more spectacular is that, in keeping with Valentine, they have been all made by hand.

The circular-designed rattans on the ceiling of Peraya Homestay (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

Jungle Trekking to Muan Tabi Waterfall

The signage exhibits the way in which to the waterfall. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

After settling in at our designated rooms, we have been served delectable vegetable and hen dishes for lunch.  After a much-needed post-lunch break, we headed out to begin the jungle trekking journey to Muan Tabi waterfall.  The path’s place to begin was an space with traces of pepper timber with ripening peppercorns.

Traces of pepper timber with ripening peppercorns on the beginning space of the jungle trekking path (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

Jungle trekking at Kampung Peraya is sort of difficult for novice hikers.  The path’s unpredictable panorama takes you on a roller-coaster-like mountaineering expertise – at some components, it’s a straight stroll on strong floor, then out of the blue, you attain some extent the place it is advisable to climb a modest hill. Then, slowly and punctiliously, you place your toes one step after one other, making your method on the narrow-winded trails. Additionally, now and again, you will want to cross small streams and climb over fallen branches on the bottom. 

Trekking and mountaineering in motion at Kampung Peraya’s jungle path. (Photograph by Melintan Ina)

Our trekking journey took slightly detour as Valentine introduced us to a shed that housed a number of human skulls – their “enemies of the previous”.  Named Panggah Jengga (Panggah Home), it’s a sacred web site for all the village.  It’s a identified incontrovertible fact that within the olden instances, the native tribes of Sarawak used to cut off the heads of their enemies and other than being thought to be trophies, the skulls are additionally used for ritual functions.

When requested why the skulls have been white in color, Valentine defined that after a warrior chopped off the enemy’s head, he would want to remain across the forest for a number of days and place the severed head within the river, thus ensuing within the human flesh to be fully washed away and cleared out.  Solely after finishing this ritual may he return to their village and be welcomed grandiosely by the villagers. The headhunting ritual in Sarawak got here to a cease when Sir James Brooke, the primary White Rajah, banned the observe within the 1800s.

The human skulls stored at Rumah Panggah. (Photograph by Melintan Ina)

For a non-hiker like me, the trekking certainly pushed my bodily limits.  We have been virtually on the finish of our hike when Valentine, a grasp trekker method forward of us, yelled out to announce that we had reached the waterfall.  The sight of the secluded Muan Tabi waterfall was beautiful, a wonderful reward after an arduous trek.  Valentine stated the water is so pure from the highest of the hill that it’s protected to drink, and the waterfall’s calming pool appeared to beckon us to leap in and savour its invigorating freshness.

The invigorating allure of Muan Tabi waterfall (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

After greater than two hours and about 6 km, our trekking ended. Valentine and my trekking mates congratulated me for finishing the journey, a feat I might have by no means thought I may accomplish.  Sure, it was gruelling for me, however trying again and pondering of the gorgeous environment and breath-taking wonders of nature I witnessed alongside the way in which, all of the weariness and fatigue disappeared.  They are saying that nature is the most effective healer, and after the trek, I concur wholeheartedly. 

One of many magnificent views one can witness alongside Kampung Peraya jungle path. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

Bamboo Rafting Alongside Sirin River @ Kampung Peraya

Let me be sincere. I used to be completely nervous earlier than going for the bamboo rafting exercise. Nonetheless, I used to be assured by our tour information Valentine that it might be an unforgettable expertise – and he was proper!

The bamboo rafting exercise began at round 0900. We have been welcomed by the scenic fantastic thing about the shallow but extremely calm river.  The road of bamboo timber with branches filled with leaves alongside the riverbank created an imposing cover, shielding us from the obvious solar.

The start line of the bamboo rafting at Sirin River, with a cover of leaves alongside the riverbank. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

Whereas we have been admiring the cool and clear environment, the employees of Peraya Homestay have been busy making ready our rafts.  Ten rows of freshly-cut bamboo have been lined up evenly and tied with nylon strips.  It might simply be bamboo and nylon strips however one raft may carry as much as 8 individuals! how expert and quick they have been at constructing them, one of many employees named Dennis stated he had realized find out how to construct rafts when he was very younger.

Dennis (proper) and his colleague tie the freshly-cut bamboo collectively to construct a strong raft. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

As soon as the bamboo rafts have been prepared, so have been we, as we hopped on to them and sat on specially-made small chairs, designed by Valentine, that have been hooked up to the raft.  Valentine stated he constructed them to make sure that his prospects may expertise the journey comfortably.  With a forceful nudge, the raft we have been on started to glide alongside on the calm water.  Alongside the journey, Dennis showcased his prowess in manoeuvring the raft utilizing a single bamboo, navigating his method by way of a well-recognized route.   For somebody who has lived at Kampung Peraya all his life, Dennis is aware of each criminal and nook of the river.

Dennis navigated our raft utilizing a bamboo pole alongside the Sirin River. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

For many of the journey, the river is so serene and the rafting so clean that you just really feel fully relaxed.  With the soothing sounds when the water hits the rocks, added to the luxurious inexperienced environment, I let myself be immersed within the therapeutic atmosphere, leaving all of the considerations and worries of my on a regular basis life behind.

But, as a result of shallow waters, the raft will get caught on huge rocks, so we have now to disembark from the raft, and our paddlers push the raft to deeper water.

When the going will get powerful, you’ve got to get down and push ahead. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

As midday approached, after all, lunch was on our minds.  As a part of the genuine Bidayuh village expertise, Valentine and his crew had an exquisite shock for us. With out us realising, that they had caught two fish and, throughout the journey, had made a number of stops to collect bamboo shoots, daun ipis (leaves for cooking and consuming), lemongrass, tepus (native wild ginger), tapioca leaves and plenty of different contemporary components for use within the cooking later. As soon as we reached the spot for lunch, Valentine and his crew instantly obtained their cooking up and operating.

Dennis confirmed us find out how to put together and prepare dinner rice in bamboo. First, he laid out the cleaned rice on to a daun ipis, earlier than folding it and slotting it into the bamboo, to be cooked over an open fireplace. Not simply the rice, however all our lunch was cooked in bamboo tubes, a method identified regionally as ‘pansoh’. What was on the menu? Those cooked ‘ala pansoh was hen with tempoyak (fermented durian), fish, bamboo shoots and paku uban (native fern), whereas the brinjals and hen wings have been grilled to perfection.

Lunch ‘ala pansoh within the making. (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

The consequence? An array of scorching, succulent, delicately flavoured dishes, served within the Bidayuh conventional ‘tipakuoh’ (serving bowls constructed from sturdy sago fronds) on one of many bamboo rafts. The meals was a sight to behold and was matched by its immaculate style. Extra importantly, not a single drop of oil was used within the cooking.  Having fun with the freshest and healthiest meals whereas sitting on a bamboo raft surrounded by the luxurious fantastic thing about Sarawak’s nature? One thing you should expertise.

Lunch on a bamboo raft, anybody? (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

After lunch, we proceeded to the following half of our journey, making our solution to the end line, which is the Peraya Homestay web site itself.  Possibly as a result of everybody was so full from lunch earlier, the experience was reasonably quiet.  Figuring out that the voyage was about to finish, we have been extra attuned to our environment, focusing extra on the wonders of nature that have been engulfing us. 

A uncommon sight of the foundation of a bamboo tree (buluh betong), among the many various fauna we noticed throughout the bamboo rafting journey.  (Photograph by Rossalynn Ismail)

Lastly, we arrived at our homestay, marking the tip of our bamboo rafting expertise and in addition our keep at Kampung Peraya. The phrase ‘unforgettable’ is an understatement.  This journey has taught me that happiness and pleasure usually are not confined to malls or different city dwellings however might are available abundance while you turn into one with nature. Due to Valentine, his crew and Melintan, we have now realized to understand that the only issues may be the important thing to the richest of experiences.  So, for these searching for tranquillity and therapeutic, I extremely suggest Kampung Peraya as your subsequent vacation spot.

A bunch pose to mark the tip of our bamboo rafting journey. Additionally within the picture is Valentine (standing, center) with media pals from West Malaysia – Aiman (sporting a bucket hat), Timothy (giving a peace signal) and Wan Xiang (behind Timothy). (Photograph by Melintan Ina)

By Rossalynn Ismail

(Your Tales: Sarawak Tourism Board)

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